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Alum Stewart Wu Delivers Graduation Keynote Speech

The Department of Electrical Engineering was honored to have alum Stewart Wu (MSEE ’85, Ph.D. ’90) deliver the graduation address on June 12, 2015. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Wu is also a member of the UW EE Advisory Board.

“Every time I come back, I enjoy seeing the department and how it has evolved over the years,” Wu said. “I feel blessed to be part of the UW family.”

During his speech, Wu stressed the importance of hard work, which he said led him to become a successful entrepreneur. Cleverness is a gift, Wu said, but hard work is something anyone can choose to do.

“I don’t think I’m gifted or a genius,” Wu said. “I believe hard work is the only way to get somewhere.” 

Wu is currently the Vice President of Cortina Systems, which was acquired by Storm Semiconductor in 2008. Stewart founded Storm Semiconductor in 2002. His vision was to revolutionize the home networking infrastructure, with an initial focus on addressing networking and storage space together. This initiative brought to market the first dual-core embedded network processor, which is now widely accepted and designed into many consumer and small- to medium-business end products.

Prior to founding Storm Semiconductor, Wu was a General Manager at Broadcom, where he helped spearhead development in the greater China area. As a result of his efforts, revenue in China increased from tens of millions to a few hundred million. Before joining Broadcom, Wu was the chairman, founder, president and CEO of Altima Communications, Inc., which was acquired by Broadcom in July 2000, when it reached an annual revenue of more than $40 million within three years. Wu founded Altima in 1997, focusing on a wide variety of networking ICs.

At the end of his speech, Wu also encouraged the graduates to not be afraid to fail, saying that it is far worse to never try to succeed.

“Opportunity is everywhere,” Wu said.

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